My process for getting reviews is three-fold. First I email a PDF/mobi copy to book bloggers and reviewers that do not use kindle. Secondly I include a request at the end of my books asking people to review. Thirdly I use the Amazon gift system.
Gifting a copy of your book for reviews has a few pros and cons, which I will go into after detailing the process I use.
Amazon Gift System Review Copy Process
Step 1 – Create a list of potential Amazon reviewers in your genre with their names and email addresses (it is a good idea to store these in a spreadsheet).
Step 2 – Send an email to those potential Amazon reviewers to see if they are interested in reviewing your book (note on your spreadsheet if they want a copy).
Step 3 – Change the price of your book to $0.99 temporarily via KDP (change may take up to 12 hours to show on Amazon).
Step 4 – Go to your book listing on Amazon and click on the Give As Gift button (below the buy button on the right).
Step 5 – Enter the reviewer’s name, email address and a brief message, then complete order.
Step 6 – Update your spreadsheet with the date you sent each reviewer the book.
Step 7 – Go back into KDP and change your book back to your original price (don’t forget this part!)
Okay, now the pros and cons of using the Amazon gift system to get reviews…
1 – This method makes life easier for reviewers and increases the likelihood they will actually read and review since all they have to do is click a button on an email to accept and it gets added to their kindle reader.
2 – It makes your book stand out in their queue to review because you have done something different to other authors.
3 – People are hardwired to feel indebted to you if you give them something. By sending a “gift” rather than a “review copy” they are more likely to post a review.
4 – Reviewers tend to post reviews faster since there is no shipping delay.
5 – The process is much cheaper than providing the reviewer with a paperback version of your book. Overall it costs you $0.65 to provide them with a copy of your book this way, as opposed to $8.30 if you send a paperback review copy
1 – This method is not free. Long term this costs you $0.65 per copy you send.
2 – You need to pay the full list price of $0.99 upfront and only receive your $0.35 royalty back later.
3 – This method only works for reviewers that actually read books via the Kindle reader on their PC, tablet or Kindle device.
Each time I publish a book I carry out free promotion first, then set aside a small budget for “paid” promotion, by which I mean any promotion method that actually costs me money.
– Providing book copies to reviewers (paperback or the Amazon gift method)
– Running book giveaway competitions (paperback)
– Paid ads (usually on Goodreads)
The Amazon Gift system is great if you want to get some reviews quickly (within about 4 weeks), and even if you have a really tight budget you can get excellent results for as little as about $20.
I definitely recommend giving it a shot! Just keep in mind that you will get honest reviews, so be sure to triple check your book first to make it as good as you can.
Have you tried this method? What did you think of your results?